Help needed on spell guidelines

Hi all, i'm on a bit of an item building binge at the moment, thats what 2 weeks off work does for ya.

Anyway, i'm planning on my necromancer making himself some armour. Now being a creepy kinda guy, he is going to make it out of bone. I've worked out a suitable design and he has no problem making it thanks to several spells he already has. However i plan to enchant the armour and the effects i want don't really have guidelines.

What would people recommend for the following effects?

  1. Make the armour as strong as steel, or stone. Obviously the bone armour needs to be a bit harder than bone if it is going to be effectively

  2. Increase strength. My necro has a strength of 0, he wants it higher. much higher. The only guideline i can find is creo corpusbut this only raises strength by 1 point. What would i need to boost my strength by 4 or 5 points? What about if i wanted to boost it by 10 points?

  3. i want a spell to attack anyone who hits my PC. could a touch range PeCo effect to this alone or would i need a linked effect to target it/determine when i am hit?

  4. I plan on putting an increased soak spell (MuCo) into it too, can anyone think of any other cool effects to put in armour?

  1. MuCo(Te). Look at increased soak stats

  2. CrCo spells have guidelines for that. Up to Str +5 (maximum of a normal human). Further away, it will require a Muto component since it would be extremely supernatural. If you wanted to boost it by 10 points be prepared to suffer some serious warping and lapidate your vis reserves in the process.

  3. A simple PeCo effect should work with the trigger to be activated when the armor is hit. You can use the weapon (or body part) hitting you as a connection between you and the target of the spell, so it would not work on archers and the like.

  4. other cool effects can include

  • autoteleport when you fall uncoscius/incapacitated.
  • Discharges of lightning around you
  • make your appearence regal
  • cast a shroud of shadows around you; not invisibility, b8ut terrorific shadowlike tendrils of darkness emanating from it and moving all around you hiding you partially from sight AND striking at your opponents.



MuCo Base 25 offers +5 Soak or turn a body into a solid inanimate object, with a Te requisite.

That is something I have often pondered myself. I would think the CrCo Base 55 should increase a person's strength by +5, to a maximum of +5, instead of the description provided in the guidelines...
And of course, you would need a second MuCo to get it over +5

I would think you can trigger it to activate upon being attacked fine.

Not t the moment with less than 15 minutes to get back to work, no.

Will post some ideas later, if I have any :slight_smile:

Mark shirley (IIRC) said something sensitive about this kind of things. If this is supposed to be an environmental trigger, this only reacts to "major magical features of the environment".
So, reacting to the armor being hit would require a linked trigger to another spell (which'd detect the hit)

I think Mark Shirley is an excellent author, but I must admit I think he is too strict sometimes.

I do not see why. Otherwise calling "Fireball!" would not be enough to activate a POF wand, and in general it does in 99% of the stories that include magic items around. Overcomplicated trigger needs always turned me down, to tell the truth. I do not see much logic in them unless they are highly selective. Hitting hard an armour is NOT a complicated trigger IMO. Same logic as swinging a staff in a particular pattern, really....



If he were making a magical door or drum, noone would argue that "being struck forcefully" was a valid trigger since it definitely falls under "anything physical you can imagine". You don't need an InIm effect to hear a command word, so you really shouldn't need one to sense being thumped.

Environmental triggers are things like moving through a regio boundary or sunset, which trigger the item even if noone is around to do anything.

Well, yes, but that's for making your own skin provide soak, rather than magically reinforcing the bones of external armour. I'd say make it give protection equivalent to metal scale (which seems a reasonable approximation to armour made of bits of bone) and then invoke the MuAn base 5 of changing an animal product in an unnatural way to strengthen them. Making a dead thing stronger must be easier than making a living human (who are, let's face it, really hard to affect with magic) tough yet supple. Besides, unless you want really hefty movement penalties then it needs to be enchanted to be weightless as well.

I agree. Being hit should qualify as the triggering event if so designed. For example, I design magic swords where the triggering mechanism involves drawing blood (so the PeCo effect doesn't automatically affect everyone who is touching it).

I like simple effective magic.

Well, I checked. Arm 5 p99:

"Environmental Trigger: The effect is triggered by some feature of the item's environment, rather than a specific action. The item is oly sensitive to major magical features of the environment. Thus, it can respond to the events that end spells durations (sunrise, sunset, phases of the moon, etc) and to changes in the modifier applied to magical activities by the local aura"

Xavi: Yes, I think that things are not always clear on this, as it states just that kind of trigger on p98. Note that this'd mean that the spell's activation would add nothing to the effect level, unlike an environmental trigger.

hmm. Not sure if this could work.

Gives wearer a +10 increase to strength, to a maximum of +5. Can only be used by 1 wearer per day

Base 55, +2 Sun, +1 Touch, (+5 24 uses/day, +3 Environmental trigger sun)
level 78

Activates 10 times when worn, and 10 times at sunrise/sunset. A single effect being activated multiple times by a single trigger is a stretch. Could maybe try to argue using Group to target wearer 10 times, but thats a stretch too.
I'm sure there's a way to do it, but would cause massive warping on anyone except the creator.

But then you open the gates for a hat of intelligence, gloves of dexterity, boots of

I have 2 mouses connected to my PC. One is a regular mouse. The other is a "precision mouse" for when I have to deal with graphs, meaning it moves a lot less distance when I make a normal movement with it. Helps me in precision drawing. I can't see why a magus cannot do the same about a rego terram glove to add +1 finesse or something like that :wink: IN fact the shape & form bonuses are about that, right?

The problem with the boots of speed et al is not that they are "high fantasy", but the fact that they are awfully expensive to pull out in most sagas, both in time and in vis. Intelligence is the only area where the guidelines are quite silent IIRC.



Yeh, the hat of intelligence was a bad example. It could still work, but doesn't have the right flavour. I was just pointing out the danger of allowing a Verditious to create items for himself that increased all of his characterstics to +5. It's possible to do that anyway by casting a LOT of rituals, 1 at a time. But if a mage could go from -5 to +5, with just 1 item, that would be a huge saving in vis. But, it would all depend on the mage not "losing" the item :smiling_imp:

IMO, he could do such an item, but by investing 1 effect to boost his strength from 0 to +1, one effect to boost it from +1 to +2...

I think that the strength increase could be done entirely with Muto. It just needs to be unnatural. A spell to turn a character into a bear is base 10. An effect to give a person the strength of a bear could be:
base 10 + 1 target part +1 complexity +1 range touch + 1 duration concentration +5 levels item maintains concentration +2 4 activations per day = level 37
The high levels on the CrCo spells are a result of the possibility of doing instant ritual spells with creo corpus magics.

I just realized that although you'd avoid gaining warping points for being targetted by a powerful effect (since it's created by you), you'd still get warping for a continuous effect.
If I was your GM, i'd help you to design the +strength effect, just to see the look on your face when you discovered what you'd done to yourself :imp:

I interpret differences between the regular activation of an item (needs something physical; sound, movement etc.) and Environmental Trigger (major mystical event; entering a regio, sunrise/-set).

The main thing is, the Environmental Trigger is made to achieve some automatic effect, this is passive - and passive is powerful.
Regular activation requires that you perform an action. I don't even allow more than one item to be activated at a time ("per round"). Otherwise, a lot of smallish items could easily be activated by the same action, and get a lot of those annoying "booster" spells; better soak, better armour, better vision, invisibility/rego imaginem, etc. Compared to the magus casting spells, who can cast all those in a single round, but needs to fast cast!

So having an armour, that automatically retaliates with a PeCo effect when hit, is powerful and IMHO unbalancing. Unless it's difficult/expensive enough to make. So setting the regular activation to "getting hit" is right out. Environmental trigger of "getting hit" is still outside the scope in my book, this is a mundane event, not mystical. But imbuing it with linked effects, a simple Intellego spell to detect the attack, that's fine. Otherwise you'd get something for nothing.
I see a fine balance between Items and Spells, there are drawbacks and advantages between both, but some sort of balance.
In my old saga, we had a Verditius, who had all items for all sorts of booster spells imaginable (well, almost) and that certainly did annoy me a bit. Took away a lot of challenging options for story, drama and conflict, almost a short circuit.

So you wouldn't allow an item with 5 effects, all linked to the trigger of "Help, I'm being attacked"? (Probably extra soak, fire resistance, metal and wood wards and invisibility)

I disagree that it's too powerful or unbalancing. For a start, it's contingent on being hit so having something which deals out a wound after you've taken one seems fair enough. Likewise, a PeCo spell which actually does anything more than a light wound is extremely high level, and that's before penetration. And, even then, it's only going to affect human sized humanoids unless levels are invested in size as well. Besides, items like that are a huge investment in time and vis, even for a Verditius. If it's the character's schtick, why not let them play?

I do agree that it's not an environmental trigger though. It's a normal trigger, requiring physical action by someone to activate.

Seems fair, though I think that this shouldn't solely provide strength. Creo spells improve strength by making you better as a human; MuCo(An) spells do so by giving you the attributes of the animal and bears are strong because they're big-boned and muscled. As such, any magus under these effects should at the very least grow to 8 feet tall, developing extremely broad shoulders and dramatic facial hair.

Enchanting armours is very tempting as it is straight foreward. But beware! Once damaged, the enchanted item loses all abilities! That is, until you go to a Verditus, who can reforge items... Well, so just go ahead! :smiley:
On the other hand, why not use an amulett? Jewelry grants a +4 bonus to protect the wearer and they break seldomly.

Keeping an item healthy could use a CrTe effect (or An or Co or He, depending on the material) as a continous effect. However, a sudden stike with a sword might damage the item regardless of its material. So anyone who thinks an armour which strikes back on its own is too powerful have two options:
1.) Range touch is only sufficient to reach your oponent when he is fighting bare handed. You need range voice (armour has to emitt sound) or sight (using the sight of the wearer, so no retaliation to those in your back). However, you could use an effect to target the weapon: MuTe: softening the iron.
2.) If you discover the item to be too powerful afer creation you could rule that it is now damaged so badly that it needs a Verditus' repair to work again... :smiling_imp:

Yes, naturally it all depends on a lot. If the armour is so souped up, that few hits will actually cause much in the way of wounds, it's IMHO unbalancing for a too easy access to automatic retaliation. If - OTOH - the rertaliating effect only activates once you're gravely wounded, that'd make for more drama.
And I'm not saying that the PeCo spell is too easy (BTW good points on the potential limitations regarding target). I'm just saying I find it abusive to let the activation be a passive event, without the added complexity of a Triggered Effect.
Anyway, even a moderate PeCo spell will be effective. And if the armour is made to waste humanoid, human sized opponents, I see it as a gimmick to avoid any real fights vs. mundane fighters. In that case, Penetration is not needed, and hence the emphasis can be made on the power of the effect, or to include a broader range of targets.

Also, any Verditii - or other enchanted item based magi - should not be deprived of their schtick. But shouldn't be let off any easier than other, by taking shortcuts. And I interpret the passive, automatic activation as one of those. YMMV.